The National Long-Term Care Program

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkoren and Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen presented on November 20 the new national long-term care program, which increases and expands the services provided for the elderly in long-term care and their families in their homes and in the community, eases the bureaucratic burden and increases their disposable income.

 

Main Parts of the Program:

The program will be approved within the framework of the approval of the budget and economic plan expected in January 2018, and will be implemented gradually starting from next year.

  • Significant hours increase for long-term care in the home for free - an increase of up to 40% in the number of hours of treatment given to the elderly in the most difficult long-term care situation. The maximum value of the allowance in money will be approximately NIS 5,000 (approximately $1,416.83) a month.
  • Creating a new level for the long-term care allowance for the elderly at a high functional level of approximately NIS 1,000 (approximately $283.37) a month for their disposable income.
  • Inserting dental care for the elderly into the health basket - in order to facilitate the financial expenditure on medical care for the elderly in Israel.
  • Increasing the involvement of the health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in the elderly's homes - programs that will integrate health care for the elderly in their homes by doctors, nurses and the use of technologies.
  • Establishment of a rehabilitation system in the community - The HMOs will develop a rehabilitation system in the community in order to improve the elderly's quality of life, slow down their deterioration and extend their healthy life expectancy. 
  • Reducing bureaucracy - a unified form and one test for each elderly person in long-term care.
  • Improving the quality and a significant increase of the social services in the community - building a social services system in the community for the benefit of the elderly that will increase their involvement in the community and improve their standard of living.
  • Case Manager - A professional body that will help the elderly and their families in utilizing the rights of the elderly and in constructing a personal and tailored treatment plan for them that will serve as a single address for all the needs of the elderly.
  • The participation of hospitalized peoples' children in the long-term care hospitalization will be canceled.
  • Collective insurance policyholders over the age of 60 will be able to join HMOs insurance without a qualification period and without underwriting.
  • Increasing the wages of female and male caregivers to strengthen and encourage the employment in the sector.

 

 

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon: "The long-term care insurance crisis is one of the biggest challenges I have encountered as the Finance Minister. Like other crises we have dealt with, we reached also this crisis after many years of culpable negligence. In front of us, there was one promise - neither the elderly nor the citizens will be left without long-term care coverage."

"This is exactly the answer that the program that we are presenting here today provides. This is a national long-term care program in the extent of over NIS 1 billion (approximately $ 283,366,393).

This program gives citizens a clear message - the State is reaching deep into its pocket and taking responsibility for its citizens."

"We have a strong economy. Very strong! In recent months I have heard endless discussions about what to do with the fruits of growth. I tell you with full confidence - there is no better and more correct money than the money that we invest today in our elderly.

This program provides a national safety net for our parents, our children and the weak in society."

 

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman: "This is national news for the elderly population in Israel. This is a historic opportunity for social amendment for the elderly, for people in long-term care and actually for all citizens of Israel, who will be entitled to a wide coverage of national public long-term care services. I congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu for his support and backing and I would also like to express  my great appreciation to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for his devotion to the citizens of Israel and the elderly in long-term care. This is a historic social revolution that we have been promoting with determination and perseverance over the years with the goal of systematically changing the field of long-term care for the benefit of people in long-term care and their families."

 

Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn: "This is an evening of news and we are completing here a process that changes the face of the State in the field of long-term care. The meaning of national long-term care insurance is mobilizing for the benefit of the people in long-term care, both in their homes and in the community. Alongside the increase in the financial coverage for the person in long-term care, here there is a significant reduction of the bureaucracy, reducing the heavy burden on families, expanding the services basket, and entering many more people into the eligibility of long-term care in an institution. Here there is a real change of the Israeli reality: what began with the increase in the minimum wage and pushed the average wage in the economy, continued in raising the allowances for the disabled, and is now advancing with the long-term care population. The slogan of the campaign led by the Histadrut in the fight for long-term care insurance is "Don't cast me off". Today we fulfill this mitzvah (commandment). I would like to thank Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who proved again that he is a social Finance Minister, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen, and Members of Knesset Itzik Shmuli and Yoav Kish who have undertaken to promote the subject."

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© Adam Hug